Occurrence, distribution and bioaccumulation of antibiotics in the Liao River Basin in China†
The occurrence and distribution of 19 antibiotics including ten sulfonamides, four quinolones, three tetracyclines and two macrolides in water, sediment, and biota samples from the Liao River Basin, China were investigated in the present study. The samples were collected in May 2012, and laboratory analyses revealed that antibiotics were widely distributed in the Liao River Basin. Macrolides made up the majority of antibiotics in the water ranging from not detected (ND) to 3162.22 ng L−1, while tetracyclines and macrolides were the predominant antibiotics in the sediments, ranging from ND to 404.82 μg kg−1 (mean 32.11 μg kg−1 dw) and ND to 375.13 (mean 32.77 μg kg−1 dw), with detection frequencies of 37.3% and 38.1%, respectively. In biological samples, quinolones were the most frequently detected antibiotics (57.1–100%), with concentrations ranging from 286.6–1655.3 μg kg−1. The highest bioaccumulation factor (BAF) of 45407 L kg−1 was found for enrofloxacin. The phase distribution calculation showed that tetracyclines were the most strongly adsorbed antibiotics in the sediment, with the highest pseudo-partitioning coefficient values, ranging from 1299 to 1499 L kg−1. The geographical differences of antibiotic concentrations were largely due to anthropogenic activities and the sewage discharges from the local cities along the rivers.